Antonov Airlines has carried out its first charter operation from its new UK headquarters at London Stansted Airport using machinery, which it designed to speed up loading of a giant helicopter.
The cargo, a British-manufactured helicopter measuring almost 4.4 metres high, travelled from the UK to Southeast Asia on one of the airline’s seven AN-124-100 freighters.
It was loaded at the Diamond Hangar at London Stansted Airport, the new UK home of Antonov Airlines.
"It is a wonderful coincidence that one of the UK office’s first operations should take place on its doorstep," said Paul Bingley, Commercial Manager, Antonov Airlines, who organised the charter.
"Such close proximity allowed us, not only to successfully test our specially-designed loading equipment, but also to work much more closely with our customer."
"You could say we arrived at the right place at the right time."
Antonov Airlines was the first to offer the 150-tonne payload AN-124 commercially more than 28 years ago. The airline also operates the world’s largest aircraft, the 250-tonne payload AN-225 and a 60-tonne payload AN-22.
"Our team in Kiev was pleased to work closely with our UK office for this move," said Andriy Blagovisniy, Head of Commercial Development, Antonov Airlines.
"Our in-house engineering expertise meant we were able to deliver an expert solution for this aerospace customer and we look forward to supporting many more companies in the defence, energy, humanitarian, industrial, automotive, and oil and gas sectors."
Antonov is the design and maintenance authority for the AN freighter fleet, and boasts 13,000 employees providing technical expertise for moving project and outsized cargo safely and economically around the world.